Scientists Discover Two Extremely Hot Extra-Solar Planets

Li Ming

PureInsight | July 12, 2004


[] According to a report in Science Daily on May 11, 2004, a European team of astronomers has announced the discovery of two new extra-solar planets. This discovery confirmed the existence of a new class of giant planets. Because of their size and very high surface temperature, they were nicknamed "very hot Jupiters." They orbit extremely close to their host stars, with each orbit being less than two Earth days.

The two new "very hot Jupiters" were discovered in the sky field in the southern constellation Carina (The Ship Keel.) They were named OGLE-TR-113 and OGLE-TR-132. OGLE-TR-113 is about 35% heavier than Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. Its diameter is 10% larger than that of Jupiter. Its surface temperature exceeds 1,800oC (or 3,272oF.) It orbits its parent star once every 1.43 days. Its parent star is of the F-type, slightly hotter and larger than the Sun. OGLE-TR-132 is about as heavy as Jupiter, but it is about 15% larger than Jupiter. It also has an extremely hot surface temperature. It orbits its parent star once every 1.69 days. Its parent star is a K-dwarf star, which is cooler and smaller than the Sun.

During the past ten years, astronomers have confirmed that the Solar System is not unique because by far they have discovered over 120 giant planets orbiting other stars. It is a rare discovery to find new planets, not to mention giant planets that orbit extremely close to their parent stars. Astronomers have not been able to explain this strange phenomenon.

Reference: Science Daily: "Two Extremely Hot Exoplanets Caught In Transit"

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